Depression (major depressive disorder), according to the American Psychiatric Association, is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, think, and act.
Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to various emotional and physical problems and decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.
Also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel like life isn’t worth living.
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite – weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression
Ways To Overcome Depression
When you’re depressed, you may feel like you can’t accomplish anything. That makes you feel worse about yourself. To push back, set daily goals for yourself.
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Visualize a Happy Memory
When a patient continually revisits a painful memory (say, of a romantic rejection or failed business enterprise), it can bring him or her into near-emotional catatonia.
The moment you feel yourself sliding back to an awful memory that takes you under, take a breath and instantly conjure up the sad moment with a happy one. Counter the gloom with an immediate dose of positivity!”
Sleep More Frequently
Depression can make it hard to get enough shut-eye, and too little sleep can make depression worse.
What can you do? Start by making some changes to your lifestyle. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try not to nap. Take all the distractions out of your bedroom — no computer and no TV. In time, you may find your sleep improves.
Eat Something Healthy
There is no magic diet that fixes depression. It’s a good idea to watch what you eat, though. If depression tends to make you overeat, getting in control of your eating will help you feel better.
Although nothing is definitive, Cook says there’s evidence that foods with omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon and tuna) and folic acid (such as spinach and avocado) could help ease depression.
It temporarily boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins. It may also have long-term benefits for people with depression. Regular exercise encourages the brain to rewire itself in positive ways.
To all those dealing with depression, Don’t withdraw from life. Socializing can improve your mood. Keeping in touch with friends and family means you have someone to talk to when you feel low.
Try these coping strategies listed above if you’re feeling depressed, and you will definitely feel better.